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ECP announces fact-finding inquiry into Daska by-poll fiasco

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced to hold a fact-finding inquiry into the NA-75 Daska by-poll fiasco besides appointing an officer to commence a thorough probe, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

The provincial joint election commissioner of Punjab, Saeed Gul, has been appointed as the inquiry officer and tasked to present its report till May 15, sources told ARY News. The inquiry will uncover the fact about the disappearance of the presiding officers (POs) on February 19.

Sources said that the inquiry officer will scrutinise the violations of duties made by the POs and election staff besides recording the statements of the presiding officers. Saeed Gul was given powers to seek assistance from any federal or provincial institution to conclude its probe.

Read: NA-75 Daska re-election: ECP increases number of sensitive polling stations

The transportation and security plan will also be reviewed during the inquiry, as well as ascertaining the concerned officers who were involved in alleged result tempering and helping those who took away the polling staff on the by-election day.

On Feb 25, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had ordered re-election in the NA-75 Sialkot-Daska constituency over alleged rigging and irregularities.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to order re-polling at all polling stations in NA-75.

Read: ECP releases statistics of country’s total registered voters

However, the Supreme Court (SC) had upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to hold re-polling in the entire National Assembly constituency NA-75 in Daska.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial had heard the petition of PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi, challenging the ECP order of February 25, 2021, declaring the by-election at NA-75 Daska void and ordering re-polling in the whole constituency.

The election commission will organise re-election on April 10 in Daska’s NA-75 constituency following the orders of the top court.

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